Are you tired of making bad decisions as a designer? Do you want a little fame? Don’t close the door, don’t run, don’t drive past the video store, make sure you can be the last one standing. When I say; “be the last one standing”, I’m talking about you (a designer) potentially winning a design competition.
For 2009, one way you can make the leap from junior to senior – intermediate to pro, is to enter design competitions, finish in the top tier and eventually win. Now, I don’t have the formula to winning design competitions, (that’s not what this blog post is about) but I will give you the push that you should be entering more design competitions. Search them out, hit up Google, check your local newspaper, AdBusters usually has a listing every once in awhile. I can already hear some of you talented people saying; “design competitions are an absolute waste of time, they’re artificial, the best work never wins, and I’d rather be paid for my efforts or spend my time attracting new clients…”
There are lots of people with the same attitude expressed above, but if your work did receive some accolades and won, you’d automatically be on the other side of the fence. You’d be contacting the local media, telling your friends, framing the certificate on the wall, and putting the prize money to good use. You would realize how sweet it is to win a design prize. I have an extremely trusting view of design contests, I try to enter as many as I can on the premise that if I do win I will have a great promotional opportunity, and receive some peer approval. Despite the detractors, it is in fact usually the best work that wins and you never know what sort of opportunities will result. Make sure you enter carefully, try to have the best odds possible, and watch out for entry fees, although being entered in a contest with entry fees can make you strive higher than you ever had before.
Win or lose, pass or fail, the number one reason to enter design competitions, is that your creativity and inspiration will get a little jolt, and you will really have to work hard on your design. You will realize this during the creation process, and at the final stages, you should have a work that it is ready for your portfolio and that you are truly proud of.